YEP Letters: January 22

Have your say

IT was with deep regret I read that the care home plan for Bridge Street, Otley has won their appeal (as happens more times than not) (YEP, January 3).

A derelict school site is part, as is a very popular café run by the Dunnies brothers, taking over from their mother a few years ago. It used to open 12 hours a day and I hear one of the brothers has not missed one day for 40 years. I have visited most Sundays for about 40 years on my way back from cycling in the Dales and the café is like a meeting place of old friends who have married, returned, then started out again at walking, cycling or bus trips to talk about old times etc.

Unfortunately time moves on and homes for the elderly are a very good substitute. Let’s hope another café in Otley or nearby can offer catering for the many wanderers who like a snack or a meal on a weekend or just a cuppa.

AE Hague, Bellbrooke Grove, Leeds LS9

NGT won’t cut city congestion

IN HIS lengthy letter (YEP, January 15) “Setting the Record Straight on Trolleybus Benefits”, the one thing Coun James Lewis does not do is provide any example of the benefits of the trolleybus. It is purely speculative to suggest that the trolleybus will be quicker than present public transport using the same route. He ignores the fact that people will need additional time getting to and from the trolleybus network using other forms of transport.

What he is in effect suggesting is that journeys will be quicker for people who already use public transport. Surely the whole point of a “New Generation Transport” system is to decrease congestion by getting people from their cars and onto public transport not just transferring people from one form of public transport to another. Nowhere does he mention how “trolleybus” will do this.

The trolleybus route follows such a narrow transport corridor that it won’t even scratch the surface when it comes to reducing traffic congestion throughout the rest of the city. We need a system that provides better public transport throughout the city not just on a fraction of it.

Martin J Phillips, Tinshill Lane, Cookridge

Invalid claims for trolleybus

THE REVD Robin Paterson’s blind faith in the authorised version of the NGT plans is touching, but unhelpful (YEP, December 11), as also R Greenley (YEP, December 16) and their selective experiences of other, very different, places. Specifically, he does not recognise its two central problems. These are not the loss of trees, heritage, property, community assets, small businesses and visual amenity, though these are acknowledged and will undoubtedly occur. Nor is it that all travellers on the route other than those using public transport will suffer delays compared to current travelling patterns, using more fuel and increasing aerial pollution on what is presently the most polluted section of road in Leeds and which the missing trees will no longer be able to absorb.

No! The problems are that, even at maximum loading and permitted frequency (determined by the signal precedence system) the trolleybuses cannot move more than about two thirds of the current peak time public transport users on the route. Ergo, a supplementary bus service is mandated. So instead of a single (integrated) system we have two, which will have separate, and well separated, stops: these will be fewer, less conveniently placed and further apart than the present bus stops. Each service will be about half as frequent as the present bus service. Therefore, total journey times will be longer than now because of longer walking times to stops and waiting times at the stops. The buses will be allowed to use the greater part of the segregated trolley lanes, but not the precedence signals. The on-board journey time advantages claimed for NGT use current bus schedules as comparator, as per Councillor James Lewis, (YEP, January 15), not the bus service as it will be in 2020 with the segregated lane advantages and the long-delayed introduction of proper boarding procedures, and these claims are therefore totally misleading.

Thus, the claims made for NGT, that it will be a rapid, integrated public transport system are invalid: the PT experience for travellers, whether on the trolley or conventional buses is likely to be worse than at present – and heaven help the rest!

Dr John Dickinson, Hollin View, Leeds

A question of democracy

I AM writing in response to the article (YEP, January 9) exposing the fact that £5m has already been spent on the expensive, inefficient, discriminatory, inflexible, old-fashioned and environmentally destructive trolleybus scheme and also about the councillors who had to be ‘whipped’ into voting for it (YEP, January 8). What is particularly galling is the fact that a considerable sum of the public’s £5m has been spent trying to persuade the public to put up with this folly.

When in Dortmund Square last year, I noted that the publicly-funded trolleybus PR machine was out in force, with its publicly paid staff handing out its propaganda. It was gratifying to see that anti-trolleybus campaigners were also there, giving their own time and resources to deliver a balanced view.

In a democracy it should be the electorate getting its representatives to go along with its wishes, not the other way round.

Paul Marchant, Ash Road, Leeds

Get tough on prostitution

I READ with interest the comments regarding a “drop in centre” for prostitutes in Holbeck. As usual LCC have not thought of the impact on the local residents. I have regularly seen the “girls” plying their trade from my kitchen window, have been subjected to cars slowing down and lewd comments as “kerb crawlers” seem to think all women in Holbeck are of “dubious” character.

It isn’t a “drop-in” centre that’s needed, it’s firmer and constant policing to get rid of the “girls” and kerb crawlers altogether. We have problems also with them using the flats in winter to do their “business”. I wonder how many of the councillors would like them on their doorstep? None I bet, so why should we?

Name & address supplied

Thanks for call

TODAY, FULL of pain, confined to bed and not even able to keep my appointment with the hospital, I received a telephone call from a friend of 60 years, a call which was more welcome than all the gifts in the world.

When you are in the position that I am in, it is nice to be reminded that you have not been forgotten. So please remember those friends of yesteryear who are now sick and elderly and that a telephone call from you would be most welcome. May I take this opportunity of saying “thank you” to Stan Dodds who did not forget an old friend.

LE Slack, Lingfield View, Leeds

Right to privacy

I HAVE have a problem broadcasting my name and home address to the whole world when I pick up my prescription every month. Am I alone in having this problem?

If you refuse to divulge such personal details then you will be given the option of going into the small room where people with embarrassing illnesses go for some privacy or perhaps you would like it delivered or dropped off at your surgery as if you have special needs.

This is an insult.

The solution is simple. If you telephone for instance, a utility company they ask for your name, postcode, flat or house number and that’s it.

Why are pharmacies not compelled to do the same when you pick up your prescription?

Name & address supplied

YEP Letters: February 19